Traditional watchmakers are gradually dragging their watch brands into the 21st century.
Analogue or hybrid watches are classic looking timepieces that combine the look and functionality of traditional watches with abilities that are evident in today’s smartwatches. Discreetly housed in the casing of these devices is technology that keeps tabs on your daily activity and sleep metrics. Some even display smartphone notifications.
Essential reading: Compare hybrid watches with our interactive tool
A large proportion of future wearables growth will be driven by a rise in smart analogue watches. Existing manufacturers are expected to broaden their product offering, while traditional watchmakers will enter this space as they try to cling on to their share of the global market.
If you are in the market for a smartwatch right now but prefer the classic look of an analog timepiece, one of these may be for you.
Apart from being beautiful, this is a one of the most feature packed and best hybrids out there. Such devices typically try and keep things simple, but Vivomove HR is different.
Its predecessor features two bars on the screen that allow you to view you step progress and inactivity at a glance. The second generation gizmo goes further by actually adding a stunning 9.6 mm x 19.2 mm OLED display to the face of the watch.
As the name implies, the device throws heart rate tracking into the mix. Under the hood you’ll also find an accelerometer, barometric altimeter and ambient light sensor.
In terms of fitness tracking, you’ll get info on steps, sleep, distance, calories, floors climbed, heart rate and intensity minutes. The heart rate sensor will keep tabs on your resting heart rate, and you can use it to monitor which zone you are in when you heart rate zone train. There is also Garmin Move IQ which can recognize and log movements for certain activities.
In addition to this, you’ll find some more advanced features such as VO2 max and fitness age. In case you are aspiring towards a more tranquil existence, Vivomove HR lets you know whether you are having a calm, balanced or hectic day. You can then use the relaxation timer to work through deep breathing exercises, and lower your stress.
Finally the watch will also alert you to incoming emails, texts and calls based on your setup preferences, and you can send quick replies via the touchscreen. You can even control your music and subscribe to social media updates.
If you want smart tracking along with self-expression, look no further than the Withings Steel HR Sport.
This is the second generation of the device. The upgraded version comes with the addition of Connected GPS, a Fitness Level assessment via VO2 Max estimation and better watch straps. You still get basic fitness stats and heart rate monitoring. Real-time heart rate info is displayed on the watch during exercise, and more detailed info including time spent in heart rate zones can be seen in the app afterwards. The watch also tracks resting heart rate, one of the most important metrics to assess overall health over time. Its swim-proof, too.
The rechargeable battery will keep Steel HR Sport going for up to 25 days, the best battery life for a heart monitoring activity tracker available. After that, it will keep plodding along for another 20 days with limited functionality in power save mode.
If you are looking for a classy smart device with discreet activity tracking features, the Withings Steel HR Sport is another great option.
Command, is Misfit’s second stab at something that promises to track your fitness while looking appropriate at a formal dinner. It has a clean, modern and unobtrusive look on the outside, and latest high tech smarts on the inside.
With a built-in accelerometer, you’ll just get info on your steps, distance, calories and sleep. But don’t look for a heart rate monitor, its not there.
There is also some smartwatch functionality. This includes notifications for messages, reminders, calendar appointments, a smart button function which can be set up through the Link App and more. Command has a small sub-dial with little icons letting you know what you are looking at.
The hybrid comes with a non-charging battery that lasts up to one year, the longest battery life on a Misfit device to date. Its swim-proof up to 50 meters, too, so you don’t have to worry about taking it off in the water.
The watch comes with a stainless steel case with matte finishing. To customize it to your taste, there is a wide range of 20mm strap options to choose from.
When it comes to shear numbers, Fossil Group is at the forefront of the analogue smartwatch trend. The company has an incredible total of more than 300 connected devices in its range. This includes hybrids across its many accessory brands such Emporio Armani, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Diesel and Chaps.
The Fossil Q series consists of a number of analogue smartwatches including the Q Nate, Q Crewmaster, Q Gazer and Q Tailor. The smart features in this product lineup include: activity tracking, sleep monitoring, custom goal setting, automatic time zone and dual time monitoring, alarm, filtered notifications (with vibration and dial animations) and more.
The main dial on the watch shows the time, while a secondary dial shows how close you are to reaching your daily goal. There are also some smart controls, so you can ring your phone, or operate and control music by pressing the bottom button.
All four watches provide the same functionality, but with different styles. There are also many options for personalization including interchangeable straps in leather, silicone and stainless steel.
You are going to struggle to find a hybrid watch more beautiful than one of the devices in the Skagen Connected range. This includes the Signature, Hald, Jorn and Haggen Connected. Coupled with a price which comes below much of its direct competition, this is a very good option if you are looking for a classic looking timepiece which elegantly adds in the smarts.
Features include automatic time and date adjustment, basic activity and goal tracking, sleep tracking, filtered email and text notifications, dual-time function and alarm. You can also snap a photo remotely, control music and more.
This smart analogue timepiece is compatible with both Android phones and iPhone and runs on a standard coin-cell battery with a four to six-month battery life. The quick-release-pin construction makes it easy to interchange the leather band with other 20mm leather, steel-mesh, silicone or nylon straps.
Lets face it. It was only a matter of time before your favourite activity tracker got a major fashionista-friendly makeover. We are talking about fashion here, so don’t get overly excited about functionality. But you will get the basics.
Essential reading: Activity trackers for women
The Kate Spade Metro Grand tracks your steps, calories, distance and sleep and will spit out smartphone notifications. It also sports controls that allow you turn up your workout playlist and take a post-run selfie right from the tracker. You can set personal goals and this is one less device you will need to charge as it operates on replaceable a coin cell battery.
The hybrid comes in black and rose gold, grey and silver tone, vachetta and gold tone, and as a gift set with two tone bracelet and a black-quilted leather strap.
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